A mother who survived the Oct. 8 earthquake with her son prepares food in a makeshift tent in a village in Indian-administered Kashmir. Health workers have warned that contaminated water may lead to an outbreak of various diseases. Photo by Joshua Newton
BATTAGRAM, Kashmir (BP)--The people of Indian-administered Kashmir who survived the devastating earthquake Oct. 8 face a new foe: illness initiated by impending winter and poor water, food and shelter conditions.
Nizakat Fatima, a 40-year-old earthquake survivor, recuperates from severe fractures in her shoulders and from neck and leg injuries in a hospital in Indian town of Baramullah. Photo by Joshua Newton
“The first snow has already fallen in the tops of the mountains,” a relief worker in Indian-administered Kashmir noted. “Bronchitis will be on the rise in no time. The colder it gets, the more bronchitis you’ll have.”
The next three weeks are crucial, workers say; hundreds of remote villages will become impossible to reach in a couple of weeks as snowfall begins to mount in regions shaken by the 7.6-magnitude earthquake.
In addition to bronchitis, health workers have warned that unless fresh water, food and shelter become available, diseases such as tetanus, pneumonia, cholera and measles, along with diarrhea, fever and tick-borne viruses from livestock, are certain to spread, especially among survivors with open cuts and sores. Authorities reportedly are killing dogs out of fear they could carry parasites that might spread potentially fatal diseases. Read More